Local Office Blogs

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October 29, 2014

Last week we held a "Think Pink" week in support of  the Susan G. Komen Foundation and in anticipation of the Memphis Race for the Cure. Our office particularly supports our own Karen Cassella, a 4 year survivor, and her team of "Warriors" who walk the race together. We kicked off the week with a breakfast including pink donuts from one of our favorite local donut shops, Gibson's, and ended the week by wearing pink in honor of Karen and her team.

Think Pink Week 2014 KKs Warriors 2

All proceeds we raised help the fight against breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the money raised through the Race stays in the community to fund local breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs. The remaining twenty-five percent supports groundbreaking breast cancer research. For more information regarding the Susan G. Komen Foundation visit their website.

January 28, 2014

We are proud to announce the promotion of Karen Cassella, CICA to Managing Director in the Memphis office of CBIZ MHM. Karen has more than 20 years of experience in accounting, internal audit, and consulting services. Her expertise is in risk management with her most recent concentration in the payment card industry, particularly with data security assessment and compliance. She excels at designing and documenting internal controls, lean accounting and business processes, financial and operational policies and procedures, and developing formal risk assessments involving finance, information technology and fraud.

“Karen has been an asset to our organization, as well as a national leader in the CBIZ Security & Advisory Services division,” said Steve Dunavant, Senior Managing Director, CBIZ MHM, Memphis. “Her promotion is well deserved, and we anticipate her new role as Managing Director to be one of great influence in our company.”

She received her Executive MBA from the University of Memphis and her bachelor’s in accounting from Christian Brothers University. She is a Certified Internal Control Auditor (CICA) and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA). Karen served as President of the Memphis Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) from 2011-2013.

December 19, 2013
Today, Target cites evidence from investigators that a data breach extending over a few weeks, beginning Black Friday through December 15, 2013, potentially compromised debit and credit cards used in nearly all of their 1,797 stores in the United States. Target is partnering with a forensics firm to investigate the matter further, but the unknown number of customers affected by this payment card breach could possibly rank as the largest in history. Target CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, made a statement this morning regarding maintaining trust in the brand:
“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”

Karen Cassella, Executive Vice President of CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC, recommends taking the following steps if you are concerned that your information may have been hacked:

1. Find out exactly what information was stolen

2. Cancel your credit/debit cards that were compromised immediately (if you're bank didn't do so automatically)

3. Monitor your credit and debit card transactions daily and watch for any unauthorized changes

4. Talk with your bank representative to see what they can do 5. Pull your free credit reports

Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com) at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.    

December 3, 2013

The Memphis office of CBIZ MHM is proud to recognize Karen Cassella for her completion of the Susan G. Komen (SGK) 3-Day, a 60-mile walk throughout the course of three days, in the effort to fight against breast cancer. 

The walk was held in San Diego, CA, November 15-17, with walkers supporting the continued theme, “We Will Never Give Up.” Karen celebrates her 3-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor, and completed the 60-mile walk for the third time with her husband, Nick Cassella. With the help of friends and family, Karen surpassed her goal of raising $5,000. Half of her donations came from her CBIZ friends/colleagues through our local 'Think Pink' week as well as online donations. Together, Karen and Nick were able to raise $9,000 in combined donations for her team. 

Karen's first 3-Day walk took place in July 2011, just six months after she completed her chemo treatments, at the Boston 3-Day. As a result, Karen started a Bucket List and added ‘Participate in the SGK 60-mile walk every year’ as its first item. Her time spent at the 3-Day walk was an amazing experience. Karen hopes to remind others that every 74 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer. The San Diego 3-Day Walk net proceeds are invested in breast cancer research and community programs.

August 27, 2013

Harbor Freight Tools reported a cyber-attack in late July after it was discovered by credit card companies. With over 400 brick-and-mortar stores, online retail capabilities and catalog sales, the amount of data breached could qualify it as one of the largest retail breaches of 2013.

This data breach follows a long line of other data breaches from earlier this year. In the spring, large convenience chain, Mapco, alerted customers of a breach which affected multiple locations in seven states and a data breach of the Presbyterian Anesthesia Associates' website of Charlotte, N.C., affected nearly 10,000 people.

2012 saw 621 confirmed data breaches. 66% of those took months or more to discover and 69% were discovered by external parties. These reports were taken from the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, which studied eighteen organizations around the world to perform their analysis.

Correspondence went out to customers in a letter July 20th noting, "Harbor Freight Tools was advised by credit card companies that it may have been the target of a cyber attack against our payment processing system similar to attacks being reported by other national retailers." Though an exact number of customers affected by this particular breach has not been released by Harbor Freight, Data Breach Today reports "one card issuer says more than 10,000 of its cardholders have so far been impacted; another issuer estimates more than 20,000 of its cardholders have been affected."

One thing is for certain, data security attacks are becoming more common with the increase in online collection and processing of card data. Companies must take charge of their own payment card systems and make sure they are compliant with data security standards. In fact, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is proposing to hold merchants more accountable for data security breaches with their 5-point plan for regulatory reform. It is now more important than ever that the controls your business has in place adequately protect consumer information.  

For the full Harbor Freight Tools story visit Data Breach Today's website. 

Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com), Executive Vice President, CBIZ SAS at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.

August 13, 2013

This month we featured the Susan G. Komen Foundation as our 'Charity of the Month.' This organization is dedicated to breast cancer education and research about causes, treatment, and the search for a cure. Our office particularly supports our very own Karen Cassella, and this year, we raised funds for her 3rd annual 3-Day Walk to help reach her goal of $3,000.

August 5th-9th was recognized as "Think Pink" Week in the CBIZ MHM Memphis office. Each day brought along a new activity with it in an effort to raise money. On Monday, donations were accepted in the morning as associates were greeted by the community involvement committee with Panera bagels for a special breakfast. Tuesday was the office-wide bake sale where 20 associates brought in baked goods for the event. This sale was a huge hit among our staff and lasted throughout the week! A raffle was Wednesday's fun activity. A few lucky employees went home with donated items from a local giftshop. Thursday donations were collected along with an afternoon treat provided by a local restaurant. "Think Pink" Week ended with a jeans day on Friday. Associates wore jeans and their pink to show support for the cause.

Below is our "photo op" from the day (Karen Cassella is pictured holding the pink ribbon). Our office collected a grand total of over $1,700! Karen will participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day later this fall. If you would like to contribute to her cause, you can go to Karen's walk page and donate online. You can also learn more about the Susan G. Komen Foundation at www.komen.org.

July 23, 2013

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is proposing to hold merchants accountable for data security breaches. The banking group recommends Congress create national standards for retailers and processors to uphold when they collect and process payment card data. The legislation would create uniform security practices for the protection of all financial information.  The NAFCU has been actively working to gain support for this issue.

Fred Becker Jr., President & CEO of the NAFCU,  described in a recent letter to Congressional leaders the organization's Five-Point Plan for Regulatory Relief. He notes:

"Our nation's credit unions are struggling under an ever-increasing regulatory burden that must be immediately addressed. A survey of NAFCU members late last year found that 94% have seen their regulatory burden increase....Credit unions, many of which have very small compliance departments, and in some cases only one compliance officer, must comply with the same rules and regulations as our nation's largest financial institutions that employ armies of lawyers."

The 5 points outlined in the plan include the following:

  • Administrative Improvements to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
  • Capital Reforms
  • Structural Improvements
  • Operational Improvements
  • Data Security Reforms

For more information on the NAFCU's Five-Point Plan for Regulatory Relief click here.

Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com), Executive Vice President, CBIZ SAS at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.

June 11, 2013

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) responsible for developing and maintaining the payment card security standards has announced the start of the PCI Special Interest Group (SIG) proposal period for 2014 projects. During this time, beginning June 1st and running through July 25th, participating organizations can submit ideas and voice concerns to the Council through their website. Results in the past have shown this collaboration is key in addressing challenges and making significant changes in the PCI industry.

"The real value in Special Interest Groups is that they are driven by the community at large. The ideas come from those who are living and breathing payment card security every day, representing a variety of industries and job functions," said Bob Russo, General Manager of the PCI Security Standards Council, earlier this month in a release.

The PCI community will have the opportunity to vote in the SIG election in November, selecting up to three projects they would like the Council to pursue over the coming year. For the full PCI Security Standards Council press release click here.

Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com), Executive Vice President, CBIZ SAS at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.

May 21, 2013

Presbyterian Anesthesia Associates out of Charlotte, North Carolina reported a data breach of their company website this past week. A hacker targeted a security flaw in their system, retrieving accesss to a database containing 9,988 customer's personal information including credit card numbers.

"No medical information was comprised," the practice said. They are now working to build a more secure website and have enlisted the help of the FBI to investigate the breach. This security issue is just one of many that have occurred in the area:

"Data breaches have become increasingly common as more financial transactions migrate online. More than 1,500 separate instances involving 4.8 million people in North Carolina have been reported since 2005, according to the N.C. Department of Justice." - Charlotte Observer

CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC is working to eliminate data breaches before they occur. Having a secure website is only one part of data breach preparation. If you are having trouble deciding whether you meet data security standards, use this quick PCI Assessment tool to evaluate your payment card industry compliance.

Click here to read the full report from the Charlotte Observer. Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com), Executive Vice President, CBIZ SAS at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.

May 14, 2013

Mapco, one of the largest company-operated convenience chains in America, has released information regarding a security breach by third-party hackers of certain customers credit and/or debit card data:

"Third-party hackers used malware to access the payment card processing systems in our stores between March 19-25, April 14-15, and April 20-21, 2013. These systems transmit card information needed for the approval of transactions.  The hackers may have stolen information that could potentially be used to initiate fraudulent credit and debit card transactions."

Stores affected by the breach include MAPCO Express®, MAPCO Mart®, East Coast®, Discount Food Mart™, Fast Food and Fuel™, Delta Express®, and Favorite Markets® with locations in Tennessee, northern and central Alabama, Arkansas, northern Georgia, Kentucky, northern Mississippi, and Virginia.

According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, there were over 47,000 data breach incidents reported in 2012 and 69% of those reported were discovered by someone outside of the targeted company. In a technology-driven economy, businesses accepting credit cards continue to rise and so do the reports of crime against those business' data processing systems. CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC (CBIZ SAS) works with companies on a daily basis to combat attacks and to prevent breaches from occurring in the first place.

Preparation is key in the payment card industry. CBIZ SAS Executive Vice President, Brenda Brigman emphasizes, "You should adopt the mentality of 'not if but when' a data breach will affect you or your customers." If you are having trouble deciding whether you meet data security standards, use this quick PCI Assessment tool to evaluate your payment card industry compliance.

To read the full Mapco press release click here. Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com), Executive Vice President, CBIZ SAS at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.


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